11 November 2020

The Purpose Economy | Is Purpose Working Podcast Episode 2

Dani Johnson
Co-founder & Principal Analyst


  • This is the 2nd episode of our podcast season: Is Purpose Working?
  • In this episode, Stacia Garr and Dani Johnson of RedThread  and Chris Pirie of Learning is the New Working interview Aaron Hurst, thinker, founder of Taproot, CEO of Imperative, and author of the book The Purpose Economy.
  • We ask Aaron questions such as, Why the purpose age represents a new economic era and major progress in humanizing work, What last year’s Business Roundtable commitment to Purpose did for a lot of CEOs, and What role L&D has in Purpose.
  • A special thanks to our season Sponsor, NovoEd for their support!


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Aaron Hurst – Author of the book, The Purpose Economy


Purpose has become more and more a key concept for modern organizations: type ‘Purpose in American business’ into Google, and you’ll get 1,740,000,000 responses, for example. But how real is it? Is it the same as CSR or giving corporate money to a good cause? And, crucially, what’s its connection, if any, to L&D? On this special new Season on the podcast, we’re attempting to answer, if we can, these questions under the rubric: Is Purpose Working?

In this second conversation in our season Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr from RedThread, and Chris Pirie from LITNW, interviews Aaron Hurst: someone who literally wrote the book on  the science of purpose and fulfillment at work. Aaron is a consultant, VC, social entrepreneur and Seattle-based Purpose influencer. In 2014, his book The Purpose Economy Aaron brought widespread attention to the concept of Purpose and its importance for our lives today.

This podcast interview covers topics like:

  • How he ended up in Seattle after ‘something of a nomadic career’
  • Why the purpose age represents a new economic era and major progress in humanizing work
  • Why the non-profit world he started working in frustrated him—and what he did about it
  • Why he wrote The Purpose Economy and how he’s convinced we’re in a whole new economic era fueled by ‘meaning’
  • What last year’s Business Roundtable commitment to Purpose did for a lot of CEOs
  • The role of L&D in Purpose

And stick around for the end – where Chris, Stacia, and Dani have a 3-way debate on what Aaron told us.



This season will culminate in a live online gated experience (a webcast) where we'll review and debate what we've learned. Seats are limited. Secure your place today, over at www.novoed.com/purpose.


We're also thrilled to be partnering with Chris Pirie, CEO of Learning Futures Group and voice of the Learning Is the New Work podcast. Check them both out.

Season Sponsor

Global enterprises rely on its collaborative online learning platform to build high-value capabilities that result in real impact, with its customers working to deliver powerful, engaging learning that activates deep skill development, from leadership to design thinking and digital transformation, as well as driving measurable business outcomes.


Dani Johnson

Dani is Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. She has spent the majority of her career writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on human capital practices and technology. Her ideas can be found in publications such as Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds an MBA and an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU.